As the demand for medical supplies and equipment from Chinese manufacturers continues to grow, China’s air cargo operations are showing signs of returning to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels according to The World of Aviation.
What’s more, reports also suggest a small uptick in domestic passenger travel as key airports reopen in the coronavirus epicentre of Hubei Province. Coronavirus cases are flattening across China and it’s been almost a week since a COVID-19 case has been reported in Hubei.
One of the measurements airports across the province have implemented to detect and limit the further spread of the virus is mass thermal imaging of passengers in departure and arrival halls. They are also providing staff with masks, gloves and isolation rooms for suspected virus victims.
In a statement Xu Zuoqiang, Chairman and General Manager of the Three Gorges Airport (also known as Yichang Sanxia Airport) – one of the airports to reopen – revealed that the airport had carried out comprehensive disinfection and issued staff with training to cope with epidemic control and prevention.
Wuhan Tianhae Airport is also expected to reopen on 8 April servicing flights for those who test negative for coronavirus. However, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has stated that as a precaution, flights between air transport hubs in Hubei Province and Hong Kong, Macao, Beijing and Taiwan will not operate for the time being.
China has noted a reduction in passenger numbers of around 70% since the coronavirus outbreak. Reinstating airline services and resuming connectivity will be vital in boosting the country’s economic recovery.
IATA Chief Economist, Brian Pearce agreed, “We are seeing some signs of a turning point in the Chinese domestic market.” However, he added this was not the case for the industry as a whole with border closures having a significant hit on bookings.